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Social Validation: Avatar

Have you seen the latest blockbuster movie Avatar? You know, the movie that is breaking all the sales records at the theater box-office? I saw it last weekend. It’s a prime example of the pillar of influence called social validation. This simply means that the more people that see the movie, the more we think that it is proof that the movie is good.

One form of social validation used in marketing is called “social proof”. You will see this in the form testimonials and case studies. When we see that someone else like us is using the product or service and is happy with it, we have a strong desire to join them. The more people participating, the stronger the desire to participate.

You will see marketers using social validation when they broadcast that an event has sold out (or is about to), or that they have surpassed their goals. You see, that means that more people liked what they are offering than even they expected and the implication is that you will like it too.

When you add in some validation from authority, you up the ante. You see, when people perceive someone as an authority figure, they have a higher tendency to do what that person says. Think “4 out of 5 doctors prefer”. That is an example of a marketer using the perception of authority to promote their product.

So, when you go to the movies this weekend to see Avatar, let me know if you liked it. Then let me know WHY you liked it. did you like it because it was a great story line? Did you like it because the graphics were amazing? Did you like it becauase everyone else did (social validation)? Or, did you like it because it got good reviews (authority)?

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